Hornchurch boss proud of holders
09:00 07 February 2014
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McFarlane reflects on Essex Senior Cup heartache
Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane admitted he was proud of his side after they cruelly missed out on a place in the Essex Senior Cup final in midweek.
The holders were held to a 1-1 draw by Conference Premier outfit Braintree, who were reduced to 10 men in the second half, before losing 5-4 on penalties.
But Urchins boss McFarlane was full of praise for his Ryman Premier Division promotion hopefuls as they more than held their own against Alan Devonshire’s men and arguably deserved to win following an excellent second-half showing.
McFarlane said: “There is more positives than negatives for me. I thought that was cruel on us. We outplayed them and outclassed them for a lot of that game.
“That was their first team. The ones that come in were first-team players.
“I thought the first half was pretty even, second half it was all us though. They went down to 10 men and it did help, but I thought we were better before that.”
McFarlane was left to rue a string of missed opportunities, with ledaing scorer Stefan Payne guilty of spurning an excellent chance with the game still goalless.
After Kenny Davis saw red for the visitors, Payne did eventually break the deadlock with a composed finish from Leigh Bremner’s cross.
But George Purcell wasted a chance to double the advantage before Braintree substitute Dan Holman’s late equaliser forced the shoot-out in torrid, windy conditions.
McFarlane added: “Stefan’s when he went through, he should have scored. It was good save by the keeper, mind you.
“George’s, he probably should have shot. We rode our luck a few times, but I thought we deserved it.”
Payne, Billy Coyne and Phil Starkey all missed from 12 yards and McFarlane admitted his side do not practice penalties because they haven’t got time too.
“No (we don’t practice penalties). We don’t get time to,” he said. “Somebody said to me about it, but we don’t get time playing Saturdays and Tuesdays. Some of the boys stay afterwards and practice them.
“You can see who is a penalty taker, George takes ours and his was good. Stefan, Billy and Phil could do better, but I am proud of all of them.”